Gwalior Monument, war memorial in Kolkata - early colonial rule

Gwalior monument, Kolkata,

Gwalior monumenr, Kolkata, en.wikipedia. org

Gwalior Monument, off Strand Road, Kolkata, erected in 1844 by Lord Ellen borough, the Governor-General of India (under East India company),  is a memorial to the English soldiers and officers who lost their lives during the war  against the mighty Marathas in 1843 at Maharajpur, Gwalior.  The 60 foot tall octagonal cenotaph  is crowned with a bronze dome. The bronze was specially cast from guns captured from the Marathas during the war near Gwalior (now in the state of Uttar Pradesh). The structure is made of bricks. The design is that of Mogul-Indian and there is no semblance of British design

.Stairway in the Gwalior monument, Kolkata,W.B.

Gwalior monument, Kolkata. metal crown

The Gwalior war  the result of  non-compliance of warning given by  Lord Ellenborough (December 13, 1843) with respect to  dismissal of  the Regent and reduction in size of the army on the part of Maharani of Gwalior. This matter was further complicated by the violation  of the treaty of 1804 by Gen. Hugh Gough, who invaded the town of Gwalior on December 29, 1843. The town  was then known for its palaces and treasures and the British officers had their eyes set on the treasures and the land.

The war at Gwalior was fought on two fronts. At Maharajpur,  Gen. Sir Hugh led the English army made of 14000 soldiers. Whereas   Bhagerat Rao Scindia led an army of 18,000 men backed by 100 guns. In the wake of this fierce battle, though the Marathas were the losers, they inflicted a severe blow on the British army, causing more than 760 casualties. The other front at Punniar, 20 miles from Maharajpur, that was led by Gen. Grey defeated a huge Maratha army, but also suffered  heavy casualties,

In this battle, the English troops captured lots of guns used by the Marathas.  The Gwalior memorial is also known as   Ellenborough’s Folly, or The  Pepperpot  because it was built to honor the British fighters. What about Indian soldiers? 
The war between the Marathas and the English took place at a time when the English had been  on a land -grabbing spree , and their targets were rich kingdoms.  Using the Doctrine of Lapse as a ruse, a sort of pretext, they took away many kingdom using their military prowess and firing power. Once the kingdom fell under their control, in the aftermath  the Maharajahs and Nawabs were  puppets in the hands of the  English company which was actually a proxy ruler for the British Crown.  The ruler had to toe the line of the English company's rule. 

Gwalior memorial, Kolkata,

In England the Duke of Wellington was full of praise, and  Gwalior Campaign  heroes   were given special  awards, and the memorial in Calcutta  with their  names inscribed on a cast-iron sarcophagus was to honor the soldiers for their sacrifices.

It is quite expected that the Indian fatalities  and their contribution to the war were  wantonly ignored by the British administration and relegated to the backstage, projecting the British  soldiers as heroes. The monument was  nick-named the Pepper Pot.   Major-General C. H. Churchill and others are commemorated  for their role in a war they fatally won in 1943.  The Indian soldiers' role in the Gwalior war  forgotten for good.
Gov.Gen  of India.

Ellenborough,:  (Sept. 8, 1790 - Dec. 22, 1871, British governor-general of India (1842–44)..  Born in London and educated at Eton and at St. John’s College, Cambridge, he became a member of the House of Commons in 1813 and the House of Lords as a baron  after  his father’s death in 1818. He  held prestigious posts like lord privy seal in 1828 and  president of the Board of Control for India in 1828–30 and for brief periods in 1834–35 and 1841.  He was first lord of the British Admiralty.  Later he was the  governor-general of India for a brief period.. 

He made certain reforms like ending tolls and duties in certain parts of India like Madras, Bombay Presidencies, etc  The Gwalior war 1843 against the Marathas initiated by him at his will got him bad rap  and in 1844 he had to leave the post in India under pressure. On his return to England he was made Ear and Viscount.